Saturday, August 27, 2005

ONE NIGHT IN PETALING STREET


Mary & Christina

I've decided to go out on Friday night with my good friend Christina (or Chris). We were invited by Mary (lead guitarist of Candy rock band- remember the group from Sarawak?) to the openning of her friend's new pub called 'The Wall' located somewhere near the Petaling Street area.

Mary and her husband, Nicholas waited for us at the Bangsar Shopping Centre so that we could all go together. We were supposed to meet up with another of Mary's friend who knew the place, but since we were already late, they had already gone. Among the four of us, I was the only one who knew how to get to Petaling Street, so we all decided to pool in my car.

We were lucky to get there without any hitched :) Usually I am so lousy with directions, we could have been lost for hours. But that night, everything went so smoothly. The place was easy to find because there aren't many pubs in Petaling Street area. We detected the place from the overflowed crowd outside and most definitely there were lots of Mat Salleh since the owner is also a Mat Salleh guy. He has been staying in Malaysia for quite some time so he tried speaking Bahasa Malaysia with me. Not bad at all :)
Well, the pub is basically like any other pub with live band. They played classic rock and occationally modern rock. The crowd was fantastic. Every nooks and corners were filled up with people of all races. Just perfect! It was congested but hey well, it's the openning night and everybody was showing their support.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

TRIBUTE TO WOMEN OF MALAYSIA



“In every successful man, there is a woman behind him”.

This is the motto played on Radio 4, Traxx FM in conjunction of the National Woman Day today.

Yup, you guys out there better do something for your woman. They say behind every successful man, there is a woman silently supporting him. Now do something special for her. Buy a present, take her out for a movie, dinner, shopping or whatever to show that you care and appreciate her.

It’s not hard to please a woman. Not necessarily expensive jewelleries to make us happy. Money can’t buy happiness or love. Haven’t you heard of that? The best thing is your sincerity and effort that counts. Woman will treat you better if you know how to make her happy. Read the book, “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” by John Grey and then you’ll know better how to interpret her.

Enough lecturing; now I want to share brief stories of each and every one of my ladies friend that matter most at the moment:

Aya… The most fragile, soft like tofu, easily broken but hey nobody is perfect, she’s my best friend :)

Bibi… The best friend in the world, beautifully gentle, but don’t be deceived by her gentleness, she went out hiking with me often. I have known her since my first year at the university.

Chris… Wise and intelligent, my ex-colleague, my most loyal companion and a good friend.

Malis …. Workaholic, most energetic, strong and dynamic; my junior and ex-roommate at the university, I think of her like my real sister.

Mona…. Beautifully exotic with piercing eyes, my companion through most adventures I had in the jungle, also my best friend since first year at the university.

Nana …. My ex-colleagues, understandable, beautifully cute, headstrong but has a big heart; also like a little sister to me.

Sue…. The cutest of all… good hearted and she was my classmate during matriculation.

Vaffa… Diligent, inspiring, hard working and knowledgeable. She’s my equal.

These are all the wonderful women who had established a strong friendship with me that can never be weathered by time. I admired each and every one of them.

HAPPY WOMAN DAY TO ALL OF YOU OUT THERE…

Monday, August 22, 2005

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT?

A good friend of mine used to tease me about the cliché ‘you are what you eat’ in one of my posting, ‘Can Asean be Taller?’. He said surely Asian women are interesting because Asean cuisines are interestingly tasteful. Hahaha… I have to admit that he has a point there. Most probably you are right, Alex. You should tell me one day how far this is true to you.

I always believe in the cliché looking at the perspectives of our own well being. In fact I always promoted it to all my friends so that they will watch their eating behaviour. Whatever goes in the body will reflect you as a whole. For instance if you like food with high contain of cholesterol such as red meat, cheese, crème or durians (king of all fruits) as a few examples here, you will probably be an obese adult. If you like white meat, lots of vegetables or low fat everything, for sure you are a slim adult. My point here is not to say that big is wrong and small is right. You have to choose which type of diet suit you best. It’s okay as long as it makes you happy. Well, what’s the point of living if you are not enjoying it, right?

Some food has medicinal values if eaten at a regular basis. For examples, the Malays believe that eating ‘ulam’ (certain plants that are eaten raw) will slow down the ageing process, gives good complexion, lower down cholesterol and sugar levels in your blood, improve blood circulation and good for your bowel movements. Ulam can be categorised into leafs, beans and fruits. It is called ulam as long as you can eat it raw.

Examples of leaf based ulam are Ulam Raja, Ulam Pegaga, Ulam Pucuk Gajus and many more. It’s endless for me to name all. These are only a few names that I am familiar of. Examples of bean and fruit based ulam are Kerdas, Petai, Jering, Kacang Botor and Kacang Panjang. I don’t know that many because I can only eat a few. My favourites are Kacang Botor, Kacang Panjang and Kerdas (it’s so crunchy) eaten with Sambal Belacan (chillies compounded with shrimp paste, salt, sugar and a little bit of lime juice) and small amount of rice. However, these vegetations can only be found in Asean regions.

Simply said, ulam is like another version of salads as known in the west.

Now the real reason I am writing this topic is because of the recent incident in Malaysia. A tiger cub was saved from being cooked for aphrodisiacal and medicinal values. What! Are you kidding me!

Yup, here in Malaysia and most Asean countries, we have this bunch of crazy people who like to eat so called exotic food. The market is quite lucrative; therefore more people are involved in this business in Malaysia. They are willing to go to great extend to fulfil the demand for exotic food in regardless of the enforced law not to kill extinct animals here.

I wonder why people want to eat something that is out of the ordinary; like eating cats and dogs, like eating tigers, like eating placenta (taken from hospitals after one has given birth) and like eating dead embryos/little babies. Ewww…… God knows what else. Have you ever heard of that? Well I did. It’s very disgusting! Human being is putting themselves into the rank of animals that do not have a big enough brain to think of the rights and wrongs even in choosing of the food to eat.

Be reminded that whatever you eat will reflect you as a person. For instance, if you eat exotic food that is out of ordinary, the public will not think highly of you. Some people will look at you disgustingly. Well, I would. You are lowering yourselves in the stratum of society.

The cliché, ‘you are what you eat’, literally translated; if you eat tiger, you will be fierce and strong like a tiger. If you eat cats and dogs, you will get restless cause cats and dogs like to fight. Using the same cliché, everybody must not eat chicken for you will be a chicken freak. Uppsss….. Don’t eat frogs for you will be jumping like the crazy frog (you know like that annoying song of the Crazy Frog). Last but not least, don’t eat pork because you will be diseased like an ugly....?

Sorry guys. I’m just joking. Now I understand why some people chose to be a vegetarian. Really….

Okay lah… I promote everybody to eat fish. It’s the best, less cholesterol, easy to find and may be later you could swim like a fish. Wow, I really want that :)

Now I’m serious, the truth is not as simple as that. That is not how you translate it. We are built more complex than any other creatures on earth (that is if you believe in God). Food helps if it is scientifically proven to have the right enzymes, vitamins and minerals complex. There are a lot of other ways to get boost up than the exotic, almost extinct animals or eating freaky food like dead babies.

In my dictionary, freaky food includes cats, dogs, human beings, insects, worms, any type of almost extinctive animals and any type of dirty or ugly things. There are lots of other nutritious varieties to choose from like ‘ulam’, so stop looking for the impossible.

EAT TO LIVE, NOT LIVE TO EAT

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Choking by the Haze





Look at these photos of Malaysia's Landmarks by Reuters on last Wednesday and Thursday; Kuala Lumpur Tower, KLCC, Putrajaya International Convention Centre and the Telekom Building were all looking hazy at the background

That was then on Thursday, today it’s finally raining cats and dogs! What a relieved. As urged by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, all Malaysian in regardless of their creed and race prayed for the intervention of the Supreme power to make the situation better. Hear the thunder and the lightning; it’s like songs to your ears. See how desperate people we are :)

Thank you to all Malaysian who had been praying for the haze to go away. That’s the beauty of Malaysia; very unique in its nature of racial integration. In times of hardship we always stay united. This is the true meaning of MERDEKA (independence). The cloud seeding has played an important role for the rain as well. We are already an expert in this technology of generating clouds for rain after long years of practice.

The haze was so bad for the last 7-10 days in Kuala Lumpur and other Klang Valley areas. The worst was on last Thursday, 11th Aug’05. We were actually choking in the smog caused by the wild fire of open burning in Indonesia. I think it was the worst in our history when the Air Pollutant Index (API) reached up to over 500. Under the air quality index, less than 50 is good, 51-100 is moderate, 101-200 is unhealthy, 200-300 is very unhealthy and more than 300 is hazardous. Visibility was reduced to less than 500 meters. We could have died man!

I was working on Thursday at an office in Bangsar. I could actually see the smog penetrating into the office blurring my vision. It was so bad; everyone had to wear the respiratory mask. I didn’t even want to go out on Friday just to avoid the over polluted air. However, the air quality improved tremendously on Saturday because of the strong wind blowing the smog to the North side.

Indonesia should know by now how this culture of open burning affects its neighbours. The south-westerly blows the smog towards us in Peninsular Malaysia especially Klang Valley area. Now it’s heading towards the North part as far as Langkawi in Kedah and Penang as well.

Today in one of the newspapers it was reported a dispute and battle of words between Malaysian and Indonesian bloggers over the haze. Well, when I opened the blog, there’s nothing there to see. Probably they have taken out the posting to avoid unhealthy relationship between the two countries.

I have things to comment about the Indonesian government but considering what have been published in the newspaper today, I think I better not. Anyway, just to summarised the whole thing, the smog was from the open burning and forest fire in Indonesia. There were farmers and big plantation companies (Indonesia alleged that it was Malaysian companies) irresponsibly using the ancient methods of burning for land clearance (it is easy and cheap).

This is actually not a small issue. It involves our economy and people's healthcare. We are losing so much because of the haze. That is why many Malaysian are angry about it. The BBC and CNN reported the news (to show how obvious the situation is) but it's not our own making. I hope Indonesia will take it up seriously. Open burning will affect the global warming (clearance of forest unnecessarily and the air pollution) in the long run. I bet the Green Peace will agree with this. Sooner or later Indonesia will have to fight even bigger protesters.

Enough said about the haze. The rain today is the answered prayer to us. Now I think is the time to discuss on how to counter the problem from persisting in the future. Malaysian and Indonesia must not argue over the matter with no action. We need to sit together with an open mind for the betterment of both countries.

For the Merdeka Day that is approaching, I would say... INDEPENDENCE IS HAPPINESS!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Relaxing Your Mind

Oh my God, some people just didn't get it. Okay, I will not write anything about Akademi Fantasia or Mawi. Obviously they think I am obsessed with this thing. Well let me announce here loud and clear, I am not a fanatic, never voted for AF (just enjoying watching it with my mother) and am not going to lose my mind over Mawi (I will follow the progress of his career).

One of my greatest belief and philosophy is to balance all things in life (some of you will understand this). All things mean, spiritual, mental and physical. I like to study culture, history, politics, psychology, theology and other things to make me sane but I also believe that in order to stay healthy a person needs to exercise their active mind with physical activities such as excercising (dancing, gardening, jogging or whatever). Physical exercise will improve blood circulation and therefore makes you think better as well as releasing your tensed muscles; makes you more agile and the bonus is it gives sexier body and better postures :)

Okay, my point is , it is okay to relax once in awhile doing stupid things like watching TV, enjoying ourselves sily or admiring someone from afar and got jilted in the end (hahaha...). It's normal. It's what makes us human. It does not mean that you are forgetting things like your responsibility to help unfortunate people (not just during ramadhan, dear), your responsibility to be a good citizen (give donations, pay your dues, taxes, traffic summons, zakat and know your minister's names) and whatever it is that you must do. At least I don't forget that, hope others too.

I noticed that sometimes we like to see things in a negative perspectives. We judged people easily from what we see on the surface. This is part of regression and stunting the mental capabilities. Negative things will translate into our daily lives if we are not careful. I learned this from my own experience. Starting from your face expression to your silent thoughts and actions, whatever negative things related to it will vibrate into real life. Nothing good will come out of it (wow, I used this words often). I don't want to explain further on this. Some people will think that I am being snobbish and know best. Well, nobody is perfect. I am just sharing some of my limited knowledge to you out there (whomever kind enough to read my blog, that is).

Now enough mumbling. The conclusion is there are opportunities out there for us to take, new things to explore and pleasures everywhere to choose from (but choose wisely). Life will be beautiful if we think positively and think ourselves beautiful. I am feeling beautiful today and smiling all day. What a wonderful life (as long as it will last).

Thank you everybody for reading this blog. Thank you all my ex-colleagues for the wonderful gifts (earings and neclace - so beautiful), thank you for all your support (only God knows how to repay you all) and thank you for the delicious cake (Blueberry Cheese Cake, my favourite).

I will miss you all too. Mmuahh...!!!!

Monday, August 08, 2005

From Kampong Boy to Stardom















Malaysian especially the Malays and Bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak were at home or neighbours’/relatives’ home to watch Akademi Fantasia. It’s the most glorious night of all nights because what was predicted earlier by many has become a reality. A big win for MAWI! It was a fantastic winning for the Best Vocal, the Best Performance and the winner of all like never before seen in the Malaysian music industry.

Well I think most Malaysian who had watched Mawi on Saturday night would agree that he deserved to win. He has done a fantastic job and has shown a real effort to improve himself in many aspects of becoming a good singer and performer. This phenomenon will not be seen often in our music industry because all this while it has been dominated by Siti Nurhaliza. I am glad that we have finally found a new male singer as good as him to balance the big flow of female singers nowadays.

A big applause to Astro as well for using the great occasion on Saturday night to deliver the anti drugs campaign slogan in line with the government concern. This has shown that Astro is aware of the important role it plays in influencing the viewers especially the youngsters. I like it when they asked Mawi to read the message from the Deputy Prime Minister, Y. Bhg. Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, and hails the anti drugs slogan, i.e. “Belia Benci Dadah!” (translated to ‘Youngsters Hate Drugs!’ or simply ‘We Hate Drugs!’). It’s very commendable. Well done to Astro.

I know some of you out there just hate it whenever I write about Akademi Fantasia, like I don’t have anything of great value to write. Well I just don’t care, because I know who I am. I am supporting the local musical industry so that more Malaysian will too.

I hope one day we will appreciate our local talents more than relying so much on the western cultures. This is the first time in my life that I ever like a Malay singer like this. I think it’s a good start for me and why not spread it to others too.

This is Liza, signing off :)
"BELIA BENCI DADAH.... World!"

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Planning and Preparation



Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success ~ Henry Ford.

I’m still counting days now. It’s another four working days to go before I could be set free to begin another journey in my life. I anticipated this one because I know it will lead me to something that I am going to like.

Actually my decision to resign was not made foolishly. I have planned the possibilities carefully a few months back, taking into consideration of the many consequences of my action. I made sure I have enough resources to survive and I made sure I have a back up support income no matter how small to keep me productive and out of boredom. Being an active person, I would die if I have nothing to do.

My first implemented action was I bought a new laptop (yeah I finally bought one to mobilize myself), I bought a brand new printer (thank you Sue, love you) and I dramatized my unemployment to as many people as I could (haha… thanks to my experience in advertising and marketing). Well, I’ve invested so much to set up my own office at home (have to forget buying a new car until later when I am more financially secured).

One thing that is not settled at the moment is my telephone line at home. I don’t have any at the moment (everybody is using mobile phone) because my father built the house on a piece of land too far away from civilisation. I contacted Telekom so many times with the same answer that they will not provide me with the service because my house needs four more cable poles to be able to connect. What! Why can’t you just plant the pole over there? They answered that they will not plant any more poles anytime soon because it is only one house. It will be very costly.

I am not satisfied with the answer. I need the fix line at home to be able to connect with the internet. At the moment I have to settle with the hotspot wireless service and free internet at the Starbucks. It’s way too inconvenient. I told my father that I will not want to stay with them any longer if I don’t have internet connection. It’s like a threat to leave the house (my parents hate that excuse). Poor Abah, today he tried his very best to contact his friend in the Telekom to help me with the matter. They suggested that I use their wireless service. Well, thank God that they have one. The customer service told me earlier that they can’t do it in my area. Then why this person is telling me differently. I just don’t know yet. My father told me they will call me soon to inform me the details.

MISTAKE IS WHAT BUILDS CHARACTER

You know what; a lot of people are not surprised with me. If I wanted something, I will work hard to get it. I’ll move the mountains if I have to. Nothing comes easily in this world. I have reached another turning point in my life which will make me a better person and it is a good thing for me because I think faster when I am in trouble. I would say it’s fated. The thing will eventually happen sooner or later and now I have a good reason to do it.

A rebellious person like me won’t be suited to work under people’s supervision. That is why I never worked with any company longer than three years. There were always reasons to make me want to leave.

First, I don’t like office politics. I don’t care who wants to win or lose, I just do my own thing and excel by my own hard work. Along the way, it didn’t work that way. You have to know the politics and play along with it to climb the corporate ladder. They say you just have to shape up or ship out. It has a lot of other meaning than meets the eyes.

Secondly, I am very opinionated (yes you are right). I was not afraid to say what was in my mind. I have opinion almost on everything (but I sealed my mouth now). Some people just hate it when you know so much. So the rules are not to show that you know so much and never challenge your superiors. When stating your opinions or ideas, you have to suggest it like it was from him/her, not originally from you and give all the credit to them (God, I can scream).

Thirdly, I am too straight. I am too honest with my work. I never cornered and I never lied to my superior to protect my back. I reported my mistakes and took full responsibility to it including the ones done by others. What a naive little girl I was (but this naïve act built strong friendships).

And many countless mistakes that I will not want to bore my self writing in here. One more thing; I don’t practice what I preach especially this work thing :) You just have to learn by your own mistakes, as simple as that.

WHAT WE HAVE TO LEARN TO DO, WE LEARN BY DOING ~ Aristotle

Life is not so bad for me. Actually I am enjoying it better than before. I have new hobby that is blogging, and I have my salsa dancing to fill up my free time. I will start working soon next week in my own sweet time too. No permanent job for me at the moment. I can’t believe that working freelance will attract so many people to you. I should have done it a long time ago :)

Monday, August 01, 2005

AKADEMI FANTASIA, MALAYSIAN IDOL AND MENTOR

Akademi Fantasia (Astro Ria, Channel 4) , Malaysian Idol (8TV) and Mentor (a new one at TV3); they are the reality singing shows now hot in Malaysia. I sometimes watched these shows in the spirit of supporting my mother. She likes it when the family are all together watching it with her. Well can’t blame her, it’s not easy being a full time housewife with little entertainment. Thanks to all this good shows on TV. It keeps her happy and believe it or not, it’s positively uniting us.

I’m talking about these reality singing shows because my mother are enjoying it so much and so do I. It’s not disappointing to know that Malaysia has so many young talented singers and it’s a good development to have new generation of singers giving variety in the Malaysian musical industry.

Akademi Fantasia

Akademi Fantasi is rated the most popular in Malaysia originally modelled after Mexico’s La Academia
. This show is about an everyday life of a group of student in an academy learning to become singers/performers. Every Saturday there will be a concert whereby they have to sing a given song and one of them will be voted out based on the sms’ results from viewers.

This third season has shown some improvements in terms of selection of students. Most of them can already sing and a good performer. However, the most amazing thing is the phenomena of Mawi or Tsumawi. He had the most votes each week with clear path to be the winner in regardless of what the minority of people out there are saying that he lacks musical skill therefore not to be called talented. I’m saying this because I’m crazy about him :) PEACE…

Who is watching: Mostly watched by the Malays with Astro Channels (paid TV Station). Chinese and Indian have their own channels therefore they don’t watch this one.

Malaysian Idol

Malaysian Idol is similar like the American Idol which has recently ended its fourth season. Malaysia just started its second season. This reality show is modelled after the Britain’s Pop Idol
. The first Malaysian Idol was won by Jaclyn Victor (or simply Jac) with easy winning because from the very beginning, no real competition for her. She’s a fantastic singer, better than Fantasia Barino, believe me. My favourite American Idol stars are Kelly Clarkson and Bo Bice but not strong enough to make me want to buy their albums though.

Pada Ahad lepas, dua orang yang diundi keluar telah menyebabkan kemarahan Roslan Aziz:
“Malaysian voters wake up! The one you’ve voted out today are the best singers! Please don’t do this!”

Then Gee said, “You know they are one of the best singers (she’s crying)”.

And Paul didn’t say anything much, being his usual indifferent self.

Biasalah pengundi di Malaysia memang macam ni. Selalunya yang cantik and comel tu mesti dapat undi lebih walaupun memang sah tak boleh menyanyi. Ini mungkin kerana pada peringkat awal seperti ini, pengundi masih tercari-cari siapa yang patut mereka undi. Mereka tidak menilai bakat yang sebenar tetapi luaran di ambil kita termasuklah nak sokong bangsa masing-masing. Mungkin selepas ini, pengundi akan lebih bijak mengundi untuk mereka yang lebih layak bergelar idol.

Well obviously Malaysian voters are not being fair this time to the dismay of the judges. They choose the cutest and most handsome contestants, not seeing their real talent for singing. The ones voted out was a big-size girl named Trish and the other one was a lady (I forgot her name). I have no more comment for this show.

Who is watching: All races in Malaysia are watching (free TV channel) depending on who’s into the final 12. It is the only show in Malaysia that has the capability to attract non-Malay viewers. Well done 8TV.

Mentor

Mentor
is a new show created by TV3 (one of the free channels). I think it is more interesting to watch because it has the element of professionalism and quality in a good mix, different from AF3 and Malaysian Idol. I can see that it will gain popularity soon.

Technically this show is about protégés and mentors relationship. The protégés got to choose their mentor and then learn as much as they can from them. Mentors are chosen by TV3 among the best singers and performers in Malaysia, i.e. Hattan, Liza Hanim, Ning Baizura, Nora, Noraniza Idris, Siti Nurhaliza, Cat Ruffedge, and Zainal Abidin.

In my opinion it’s a good show because you could really see the difference when the contestants were in their first week towards the end. They improved a lot week by week. Applause to all the mentors for sharing their experiences, resources and opportunity to teach vocals, giving them a little bit of a glamour world and lots more. Comparing to AF and Malaysian Idol, all the protégés are lucky to get one to one coaching. Some mentors already promised to take their protégé into their wings to help them producing an album no matter if they win or lose.

It’s amazing and worth watching.

Who is watching: The Malays because there are no non-Malay protégés and non-Malay Mentors.

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  • Love your country. Keep it SAFE & GREEN...